Since it was set up in 1984, the Turner Prize has become one of the best-known visual arts prizes. Each year, four artists are shortlisted, and the prize awarded for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation in the preceding year.

Find out about the Turner Prize 2017

So what are the essential things to know about this fixture of the art world calendar?

1984 winner Malcom Morley in front of his painting

1984 winner Malcom Morley in front of his painting

Gilbert and George after receiving the Turner Prize, 1986

Gilbert and George after receiving the Turner Prize, 1986

THE TURNER PRIZE IS IN ITS THIRTIES

The prize was first awarded in 1984. It was founded by a group called the Patrons of New Art who had been formed in 1982 to encourage wider interest in contemporary art and assist the (then) Tate Gallery in acquiring new works.

IT’S GIVEN TO ‘A BRITISH ARTIST’

‘British’ can mean an artist working primarily in Britain or an artist born in Britain working anywhere.

Winners of the Turner Prize

Richard Long assembling his solo exhibition at the Tate Gallery following his Turner Prize 1989 award

Richard Long assembling his solo exhibition at the Tate Gallery following his Turner Prize 1989 award

The jury for the 1984 Turner Prize © Tate photography

The jury for the 1984 Turner Prize © Tate photography

THE PRIZE IS NOW AWARDED TO INCLUDE THE TURNER PRIZE EXHIBITION

Up until 2016 the prize was awarded purely on the exhibition or presentation the artist was nominated for, and did not include the Turner Prize exhibition itself. The artists can choose to show any recent work and they make their selection in collaboration with curators from Tate Britain.

THERE IS AN INDEPENDENT PANEL OF JUDGES EACH YEAR

Every year a new panel is selected, thought it is always chaired by the Director of Tate Britain.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Self-Portrait’ c.1799
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Self-Portrait c.1799
Tate

IT’S NAMED AFTER J.M.W. TURNER

When choosing the name for the prize, the founders chose nineteenth-century artist J.M.W. Turner as a figure who had been innovative and controversial in his own day but also gone on to be seen as one of the greatest British artists. Turner had also wanted to establish a prize for young artists himself.

Damien Hirst (right) at Tate after receiving the turner prize with artists Michael Craig-Martin (left) and Grenville Davey (centre), 1995

Damien Hirst (right) at Tate after receiving the turner prize with artists Michael Craig-Martin (left) and Grenville Davey (centre), 1995

The Turner PRIZE AWARD IS £40,000

£25,000 goes to the winner and £5,000 each goes to the other shortlisted artists.

‘IT’S AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH AN E IN A-LEVEL ART, A TWISTED IMAGINATION AND A CHAINSAW’.
DAMIEN HIRST’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH IN 1995

Howard Hodgkin receiving the prize from Sir Richard Attenborough © Tate Photography

Howard Hodgkin receiving the prize from Sir Richard Attenborough © Tate Photography

Tracey Emin My Bed 1999 Photo: Mark Heathcote, Tate Photography

Tracey Emin My Bed 1999 Photo: Mark Heathcote, Tate Photography

IT’S OFTEN PRESENTED BY A CELEBRITY

Previous presenters have included Richard Attenborough, Paul Smith, Yoko Ono, Mario Testino and Madonna.

THE TURNER PRIZE PROVOKES DEBATE ABOUT ART

By championing the early career of British artists, the Turner Prize has played a large part in the growing public interest in contemporary art in the UK. It is one of the best known awards for the visual arts in the world.

Grayson Perry at the 2003 Turner Prize reception, 2003

Grayson Perry at the 2003 Turner Prize reception, 2003

Vong Phaophanit with Neon Rice Field at the 1993 exhibition © Tate photography

Vong Phaophanit with Neon Rice Field at the 1993 exhibition © Tate photography

THE PRIZE HAS NO AGE LIMIT

To begin with, the prize could be awarded to anyone working in the arts (including curators, critics or gallery directors) for the ‘greatest contribution’ to art. But in 1988 this changed and the prize was awarded to artists only. Since 1991, when an age limit of 50 was introduced, the Turner Prize has been committed to showing new developments in contemporary British art and has played an important role in introducing the work of emerging artists to the public. In 2017 it was announced that artists of any age will be eligible to be shortlisted for the Prize, acknowledging the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age.

Previous Winners of the Turner Prize

2016

Shortlisted artists:

  • Michael Dean
  • Anthea Hamilton
  • Helen Marten
  • Josephine Pryde

Winner: Helen Marten

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2015

Shortlisted artists:

  • Assemble
  • Bonnie Camplin
  • Janice Kerbel
  • Nicole Wermers

Winner: Assemble

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2014

Shortlisted artists:

  • Duncan Campbell
  • Ciara Phillips
  • James Richards
  • Tris Vonna-Michell

Winner: Duncan Campbell

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2013

Shortlisted artists:

  • Laure Prouvost
  • Tino Sehgal
  • David Shrigley
  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Winner: Laure Prouvost

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2012

Shortlisted artists:

  • Spartacus Chetwynd
  • Luke Fowler
  • Paul Noble
  • Elizabeth Price

Winner: Elizabeth Price

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2011

Shortlisted artists:

  • Karla Black
  • Martin Boyce
  • Hilary Lloyd
  • George Shaw

Winner: Martin Boyce

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2010

Shortlisted artists:

  • Dexter Dalwood
  • Angela de la Cruz
  • Susan Philipsz
  • The Otolith Group

Winner: Susan Philipsz

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2009

Shortlisted artists:

  • Enrico David
  • Roger Hiorns
  • Lucy Skaer
  • Richard Wright

Winner: Richard Wright

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2008

Shortlisted artists:

  • Runa Islam
  • Mark Leckey
  • Goshka Macuga
  • Cathy Wilkes

Winner: Mark Leckey

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2007

Shortlisted artists:

  • Zarina Bhimji
  • Nathan Coley
  • Mike Nelson
  • Mark Wallinger

Winner: Mark Wallinger

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2006

Shortlisted artists:

  • Tomma Abts
  • Phil Collins
  • Mark Titchner
  • Rebecca Warren

Winner: Tomma Abts

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2005

Shortlisted artists:

  • Darren Almond
  • Gillian Carnegie
  • Jim Lambie
  • Simon Starling

Winner: Simon Starling

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2004

Shortlisted artists:

  • Kutlug Ataman
  • Jeremy Deller
  • Langlands and Bell
  • Yinka Shonibare

Winner: Jeremy Deller

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2003

Shortlisted artists:

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman
  • Willie Doherty
  • Anya Gallaccio
  • Grayson Perry

Winner: Grayson Perry

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2002

Shortlisted artists:

  • Fiona Banner
  • Liam Gillick
  • Keith Tyson
  • Catherine Yass

Winner: Keith Tyson

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2001

Shortlisted artists:

  • Richard Billingham
  • Martin Creed
  • Isaac Julien
  • Mike Nelson

Winner: Martin Creed

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2000

Shortlisted artists:

  • Glenn Brown
  • Michael Raedecker
  • Tomoko Takahashi
  • Wolfgang Tillmans

Winner: Wolfgang Tillmans

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1999

Shortlisted artists:

  • Tracey Emin
  • Steve McQueen
  • Steven Pippin
  • Jane and Louise Wilson

Winner: Steve McQueen

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1998

Shortlisted artists:

  • Tacita Dean
  • Cathy de Monchaux
  • Chris Ofili
  • Sam Taylor-Wood

Winner: Chris Ofili

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1997

Shortlisted artists:

  • Christine Borland
  • Angela Bulloch
  • Cornelia Parker
  • Gillian Wearing

Winner: Gillian Wearing

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1996

Shortlisted artists:

  • Douglas Gordon
  • Craigie Horsfield
  • Gary Hume
  • Simon Patterson

Winner: Douglas Gordon

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1995

Shortlisted artists:

  • Mona Hatoum
  • Damien Hirst
  • Callum Innes
  • Mark Wallinger

Winner: Damien Hirst

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1994

Shortlisted artists:

  • Willie Doherty
  • Peter Doig
  • Antony Gormley
  • Shirazeh Houshiary

Winner: Antony Gormley

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1993

Shortlisted artists:

  • Hannah Collins
  • Vong Phaophanit
  • Sean Scully
  • Rachel Whiteread

Winner: Rachel Whiteread

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1992

Shortlisted artists:

  • Grenville Davey
  • Damien Hirst
  • David Tremlett
  • Alison Wilding

Winner: Grenville Davey

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1991

Shortlisted artists:

  • Ian Davenport
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Fiona Rae
  • Rachel Whiteread

Winner: Anish Kapoor

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1990

No prize

1989

Shortlisted artists:

  • Gillian Ayres
  • Lucian Freud
  • Richard Long
  • Giuseppe Penone
  • Paula Rego
  • Sean Scully
  • Richard Wilson

Winner: Richard Long

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1988

Shortlisted artists:

  • Tony Cragg
  • Lucian Freud
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Richard Long
  • David Mach
  • Boyd Webb
  • Alison Wilding
  • Richard Wilson

Winner: Tony Cragg

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1987

Shortlisted artists:

  • Patrick Caulfield
  • Helen Chadwick
  • Richard Deacon
  • Richard Long
  • Declan McGonagle
  • Thérèse Oulton

Winner: Richard Deacon

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1986

Shortlisted artists:

  • Art & Language
  • Victor Burgin
  • Gilbert & George
  • Derek Jarman
  • Stephen McKenna
  • Bill Woodrow

Commended:

  • Nicholas Serota
  • Matthew Collings
  • Robin Klassnik

Winner: Gilbert & George

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1985

Shortlisted artists:

  • Terry Atkinson
  • Tony Cragg
  • Ian Hamilton Finlay
  • Milena Kalinovska
  • Howard Hodgkin
  • John Walker

Winner: Howard Hodgkin

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1984

Shortlisted artists:

  • Richard Deacon
  • Gilbert & George
  • Richard Long
  • Malcolm Morley

Winner: Malcolm Morley

Find out more about the winning artist.

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TURNER PRIZE YEAR BY YEAR